Canada Post to briefly resume mail service in Downtown Eastside

Groups organizing a day protest at the moment within the Downtown Eastside say the suspension endangers the well being and security of those that depend on the mail to obtain paycheques and social and incapacity help.

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Canada Post has quickly resumed supply to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside greater than a month after it stopped bringing mail to a two-block space the place it says staff had security considerations.

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However, members of a bunch that helped arrange a rally calling for the total resumption of mail supply on Tuesday say they haven’t acquired any particulars about these security considerations or when service will return for good.

Hannah Dempsey, an organizer with the Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition, says residents and neighbourhood teams weren’t knowledgeable when service was suspended on March 23 they usually solely realized deliveries may be resuming after they noticed postal staff within the space on Tuesday.

Dempsey says the suspension places individuals’s lives in danger, as a result of many residents depend on month-to-month social help cheques.

Canada Post delivery workers meet on E. Hastings St. as workers have complained of unsafe conditions and refused to deliver mail in the downtown eastside. Nick Procaylo photo.
Canada Post supply staff meet on E. Hastings St. as staff have complained of unsafe circumstances and refused to ship mail within the downtown eastside. Nick Procaylo picture. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Residents really feel shut of out of the dialog, Dempsey says, and they need to be included in discussions about the right way to resume deliveries for good.

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A press release from Canada Post says it understands considerations in regards to the significance of mail supply, and it’s working laborious to supply service whereas engaged on a everlasting answer. The assertion says carriers could be “attempting to resume delivery” within the space from Tuesday to Friday this week, however didn’t say whether or not supply would proceed past that.

The Crown company says it might prolong opening hours of a postal facility 14 blocks away, the place residents have been selecting up their mail, and it’ll now open from 10 a.m. to six p.m.

Canada Post says residents want to point out government-issued identification on the facility, however that poses a major barrier for a lot of residents, together with these with mobility challenges, says Elsa Boyd, who can be with Our Homes Can’t Wait.

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The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act are supposed to shield individuals with disabilities from discrimination, Boyd notes.

The suspension has affected an estimated 550-to-600 residents, Boyd says.

“I can’t really think of another place in the city that one incident would result in 600 other people’s mail getting cut off,” she says. “There’s been no incident that we’re aware of.”

Several dozen protestors blocked E. Hastings Street in Vancouver, BC Tuesday, April 26, 2022 to protest Canada Post’s decision to stop mail delivery in the 100-block E. Hastings.
Several dozen protestors blocked E. Hastings Street in Vancouver, BC Tuesday, April 26, 2022 to protest Canada Post’s determination to cease mail supply within the 100-block E. Hastings. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

Canada Post hasn’t stated what precisely triggered the security considerations for its carriers. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers didn’t instantly reply to a request for extra details about the security considerations.

Boyd says members of Our Homes Can’t Wait, who embody residents and supporters of the DTES, met lately with union representatives they usually’re hoping to work with the union on an answer.

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When Canada Post suspended mail supply to the neighbourhood in 2020 over considerations about COVID-19, Boyd says the union pushed to determine the right way to resume service.

“They said daily mail delivery is a human right and we need to get it back in the Downtown Eastside, and they were able to help us get that decision reversed,” Boyd says of the suspension within the early days of the pandemic. “A lot of the postal workers, we know that they’re our allies. They know that Downtown Eastside residents deserve mail, and that a lot of important things are happening through the mail.”

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